Research-Related Agreements Including MOUs and NDAs

“Research-related agreements” are research agreements other than grants and contracts, such as funded or unfunded MOUs, NDAs and data use agreements (DUAs). This table outlines some of the most commonly used research-related agreements at UT. For a more extensive list of research-related agreements, visit the Office of Industry Engagement (OIE) website.

To help expedite approval of agreements, the UT Board of Regents (BOR) provides standard sponsored research agreement templates, as well as templates for standard academic affiliations, including international MOUs and educational agreements, which are signed by the Business Contracts Office. When using one of the standard BOR agreement templates, the approval process takes about 4-5 business days. An agreement that deviates from these templates will require additional review by the UT Legal Affairs Office, and in some cases BOR approval, which may take 6 months to a year to process. If in doubt about how to proceed, contact the Office of the VP for Research.

The procedures described below assume a substantial research component, and the use of a pre-approved BOR template, unless otherwise stated. For academic exchanges related to faculty teaching or lecturing, a Dean’s request submitted to the Business Contracts Office is required to process an agreement. For student academic exchanges or mobility programs, contact Texas Global.

Submit MOU inquiry/processing request

Type of AgreementDescriptionApproval Process (the person/department sponsoring the agreement must route the agreement through all stages of the approval process)Who’s Authorized to Sign?Templates
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) involving sponsored (funded) research (a.k.a. memorandum of agreement, letter of intent)MOU is a bilateral or multilateral agreement which documents the manner in which the parties intend to pursue a common course of action. In this case action related to the research enterprise.MOUs involving funded research, including those with a state or federal government entity or with a foreign government entity, must be reviewed by the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), with the following exception:

If MOU involves a for-profit entity or state-owned oil company: contact the Office of Industry Engagement (OIE).
VPR/OSP/OIE (PI’s, Chairs, and Deans may not sign research-related agreements)Sponsored Research Agreements
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for unfunded projects (a.k.a. memorandum of agreement, letter of intent)MOU is a bilateral or multilateral agreement which documents the manner in which the parties intend to pursue a common course of action. In this case action related to the research enterprise.Unfunded MOUs with no specific deliverables, such as materials transfers, data use, or funds transfers may be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects for processing.VPR/OSP (PI’s, Chairs, and Deans may not sign research-related agreements)Unfunded Research MOU Templates:
(a)Domestic;
(b)International
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)If you or your group is disclosing or receiving proprietary information, both parties (you and the external entity) are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), also referred to as a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), Proprietary Information Agreement (PIA), or similar title.You, as principal investigator, should fill out the UT Universal NDA template which may be modified with approval by the Office of Industry Engagement (OIE), the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), or the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), depending on the type of agreement:

• Contact OSP if the NDA is related to government or foundation sponsored research (including SBIR/STTR grants, I-Corps, I/UCRCs) and/or related data use agreements, or material transfers (see MTA section below).

• Contact OIE if the NDA is related to industry funded sponsored research (including state owned oil companies and IAPs) and/or related data use agreements.

• Contact OTC if the NDA is related to intellectual property or technology licenses.

• Contact Business Contracts Office if agreement is related to equipment loans, software purchases, facility use, or data use agreements for academic or departmental use.
OIE, OSP, OTC, Business Contracts (PIs, Chairs, and Deans may not sign research-related agreements)Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements
Materials Transfer Agreements (MTA)A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a legal contract governing the transfer of proprietary research material, including biological or chemical samples or materials that are infectious, hazardous or subject to special regulations, from one party to another.You should request an “Outgoing MTA” when you provide particular University materials to external entities. Use an “Incoming MTA” when external entities or individual researchers provide materials to you. If in doubt, contact OSP.

Outgoing MTA: you should use the Principal Investigator Checklist for Outgoing Material Transfer Agreements for Biological and Chemical Materials in the University’s Research Management System (RMS) to obtain approval to transmit materials to other institutions or entities.

Incoming MTA: you should complete, sign, and submit to OSP the MTA Expediting Form for Receiving Materials (MTA-Q).

In some cases you may need to submit the form to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). EHS will review for any compliance issues.
OSP, EHS (and OIE strictly for MTAs under industry-funded SRAs or IAPs)

PIs, Chairs, and Deans may not sign research-related agreements.
MTA Templates
Non-Sponsored Related Agreements (Services)Agreements for procurement of goods or services are considered business contracts and are handled by the Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer’s Business Contracts Office.Complete and sign the Business Contract Review Form (BCRF), then submit it to the Business Contracts Office for approval.

Here are examples of service contract agreements.
Business Contracts Office

PIs, Chairs, and Deans may not sign research-related agreements.
Business Contracts

Relevant Websites

More About Memorandums of Understanding

Templates